President Obama yesterday ordered 17,000 fuel efficient and hybrid vehicles from GM, Ford, and Chrysler yesterday. Pulling $285 million from the stimulus monies to pay for the new vehicles. The new vehicles will be used in Federal government fleets. Besides the Federal bailout for GM and Chrysler, the President was looking for another way to assist the beleaguered US automotive industry. Now this is what a bailout should have been from the beginning. Use taxpayer money to buy US built hybrids instead of handing out cash. Buying a fuel efficient vehicle helps, but the government should have focused solely on hybrids. Every state and local government should follow this lead and replace their current vehicles with US built hybrids. Even if the hybrids are made in the US by a foreign manufacturer. These should count as well. They employ Americans and they contribute to the tax base. What’s really cool about this is the reduction in fuel that the government fleet will use, and the reduction of carbon-dioxide entering the atmosphere. Fuel savings will be around 1.3 million gallons and the carbon-dioxide reduction will be reduced by 26 million pounds. I don’t think 17,000 cars is that much of a drop in the bucket for the car industry, but it’s a great symbolic gesture, and a step in the right direction.